There were few things in City of Heroes that set the mood more than the short pieces of music that played as you moved about the city. Nearly every neighborhood in every zone had unique music that clearly identified where you were, even without seeing what was on the screen.
The styles of music used varied widely, and ranged from soft pop and techno to hard rock and full orchestra. The music used for the original release of the game through Issue 5 consisted of fairly generic synthesized instruments and percussion, which made it more difficult to maintain uniqueness without sounding amateurish.
With the release of City of Villains and Issue 6, the palette of instruments and percussion was completely overhauled which allowed for more realistic and lush arrangements. All zones added or revamped since then (such as Faultline and Rikti War Zone) made use of those updated sounds.
The new music for the Praetorian zones in Going Rogue, and that which was added after Issue 18, was written by award-winning composer Jason Graves. It had a high level of thematic unity, with both melodic and rhythmic motives providing a more coherent immersion while playing through that content. One potential drawback to this composition method, however, was that it could be difficult to discern differences between pieces because they did all sound very similar.
After the shutdown of City of Heroes, a member of the Titan Forums converted the .ogg music files into MP3 format and made an archive available for download.
This is a consolidated listing of each zone's neighborhoods and the music associated with them. Neighborhoods marked with an asterisk (*) were duplicated or modified from music elsewhere in the game. See the following section for details.
Although there was a large amount of unique music found throughout the game, there were several neighborhoods that used musical cues which had slight differences from, or were exact duplicates of, those used elsewhere. Listed below are examples of the neighborhoods that used identical or similar music. They are sorted by the earliest zone/neighborhood in which the music was used, or by the first zone that used the most complete version. If there are no notes after a secondary listing then it used the identical version as the primary one.
- Echo: Galaxy City / Freedom Court -- longer version
- Skyway City / LaGrange Medical Center -- longer version
- Firebase Zulu / Point X-Ray -- longer version
- Kings Row / Crowne Memorial
- Steel Canyon / Steel Canyon Medical Center
- Faultline / Overbrook Medical Center
- Independence Port / Bell Medical Center -- shorter, similar version
- Talos Island / Phoenix Medical Center
- Founders' Falls / Harvey Medical Center -- similar version
- Peregrine Island / Aquarius Medical Center
- Eden / The Utopia Complex
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Atlas Park Sector
- The Hollows / Grendel's Gulch
- Rikti War Zone / The Sunken Road
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Boomtown Sector
- St. Martial / The Flush -- unused longer version
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Skyway City Sector
- Port Oakes / Villa Montrose -- unused extended version
- Independence Port / Steel Pier
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Steel Canyon Sector
- Perez Park / Hell's Highway
- Crey's Folly / The Blight
- Rikti War Zone / Bloody Lane
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Underworld
- The Chantry / Bastion of Pain
- Atlas Park (Pre-Issue 21) / Downside -- longer unused version
- Rikti War Zone / The Bulge
- Firebase Zulu / Point Victor -- similar version 1, added intro
- St. Martial / Turtle Spit -- unused similar version 2, added intro
- The Hollows / Eastgate Park
- Talos Island / The Serpent's Teeth -- similar, shorter version
- Striga Isle / The Bog -- same as Talos Island version
- Eden / Adeva Towers
- Peregrine Island / Curry Cove
- Firebase Zulu / Point Sierra
- Port Oakes / Villa Montrose -- extended version
- Cascade Archipelago / The Marooned Shores -- extended version
- Pocket D / Central Dance Floor -- similar extended version
- Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22) / Romero Heights -- omit rhythm, added animal sounds
- Founders' Falls / Louis Forest -- similar to Dark Astoria version
- Striga Isle / The Maw
- Striga Isle / The Wolf's Throat
- Terra Volta / Raysun Petroleum
- Sharkhead Isle / The Crush -- similar, longer version
- The Storm Palace / Lock of Hatred -- similar extended version
- Firebase Zulu / Point Alpha -- similar extended version
- Perez Park / Gaiman Woods -- added animal sounds
- Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22) / Barca Plaza -- longer, added background effects
- Brickstown / Dark Waters
- Founders' Falls / Hutchinson Park -- longer, added bird sounds
- The Chantry / Bastion of Shame -- same as Dark Astoria version
- Brickstown / Prison Power Station
- Sewer Network / Kings Row Sector -- added atmosphere
- Abandoned Sewer Network / Kings Row Sector -- same as Sewer Network version
- The Chantry / Path of Rage -- longer version with intro
- Striga Isle / Council Base -- extended version
- Firebase Zulu / Firebase November
- Nerva Archipelago / Agincourt -- longer version
- Nerva Archipelago / Primeva -- longer version
- Nerva Archipelago / Thorn Isle -- longer version
- Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22) / St. Elegius -- unused similar version
- Croatoa / Salamanca -- extended version
- Croatoa / Sunset Ridge -- extended version with intro
- Firebase Zulu / Point Foxtrot -- added intro
- Cap au Diable / Mount Diable -- similar, longer version
- Sharkhead Isle / The Pit -- unused longer version
- The Hollows / Cherry Hills
- Independence Port / Power Island -- slower, shorter version
- Peregrine Island / Nelson Borough
- Bloody Bay / Freedom Base -- different intro
- Warburg / Hero Base -- same as Bloody Bay version
- Striga Isle / Port Noble
- Peregrine Island / Bayside Docks
- Port Oakes / Arena District -- longer version
- Striga Isle / Bonny Morass -- longer, added animal sounds
- Peregrine Island / Mera Heights
- The Storm Palace / Path of Madness -- longer version
- Rikti War Zone / Pavia -- added intro effect
- Cascade Archipelago / Tyrant's Rock -- slightly longer version
- The Storm Palace / Lock of Destruction -- extended version
- Breakout / The Yard -- longer version
- Pocket D / Hero Lobby 1 -- longer version
- Pocket D / Hero Lobby 2 -- muffled version of Hero Lobby 1
- The Hollows / The Red River
- Cap au Diable / Aeon City -- omit bells, extended slower version
- Port Oakes / Dockside -- unused version, added intro
- Sharkhead Isle / Hell Forge -- unused longer version
- Peregrine Island / Cutlass Isles
- Monster Island / Cutlass Isles
- Cap au Diable / New Haven -- unused longer version
- The Chantry / Bastion of Denial
- Monster Island / Tempest Quay
- Steel Canyon / The Fools Gold District -- shorter, unused version
- Faultline / Overflow
- Bloody Bay / Arachnos Base
- Recluse's Victory / Sector 2
- Pocket D / Villain Lobby 1 -- similar version
- Pocket D / Villain Lobby 2 -- muffled version of Villain Lobby 1
- Warburg / Warburg
- Siren's Call / Buildville
Port Oakes / Oil Spill -- unused version
- Bloody Bay / Water Street -- unused version
- St. Martial / Black Mariah -- shorter version
- Faultline / Overbrook Dam
- Bloody Bay / Water Street
- Grandville / The Fab
- Port Oakes / Marconeville -- unused longer version
- Cap au Diable / Haven -- unused similar version
- Faultline / Aftershock
- Faultline / Arachnos Dig Site
- Grandville / The Gutter -- shorter version
- Grandville / Spider City
- Recluse's Victory / Sector 4
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Barca Plaza
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Dido's View
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Raimi Arcade
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Romero Heights
- Echo: Dark Astoria / Toffet Terrace
Unused and Alternate Music
Some neighborhood music cues had alternate unused versions or were omitted completely from the game. The list below highlights some of these.
- Downside -- unused
- Fool's Gold District -- unused
Faultline (Pre-Issue 8)
- Aftershock -- removed in Issue 8
- Dark Canyons -- removed in Issue 8
- Downfall -- removed in Issue 8
- Precipice -- removed in Issue 8
- Reservoir -- removed in Issue 8
- Subduction -- removed in Issue 8
Faultline (Issue 8)
- New Overbrook -- extended version
- New Overbrook -- unused alternate version
- New Overbrook -- unused New Age version
- New Overbrook -- longer Oriental version looped in Mr. Yin's store
Dark Astoria (Pre-Issue 22)
- Dockside -- unused alternate version
- Fort Blood -- unused
- Oil Spill -- unused alternate version
- Marconeville -- unused alternate version
- Villa Montrose -- unused alternate version
Cap au Diable
- Devil's Coat Tails -- unused alternate version
- Haven -- unused alternate version
- New Haven -- unused alternate version
Miscellaneous Unused Music
- BoomBox Propaganda
This list includes the different tracks that could be selected when using the BoomBox emote. Lo-Fi versions of the tracks were implemented in Issue 17 to more accuractely simulate the sound quality from a real boombox.
|Wind It Up||Hi-Fi||Lo-Fi|
Going Rogue and Combat
These tracks were first introduced in Issue 18 and continued to be used through sunset. They typically were featured during boss fights in missions, or accompanied with tense storytelling moments. The zone name for each file does not imply that it was used exclusively for content in that area. For example, Who Will Die Episode 5 used Underground4_D during the fight after the cutscene.
These tracks were used in missions, usually just inside the opening area to set the mood. The first wave of them were introduced in Issue 6, while more came in Issue 18. Many of the Issue 6 tracks were looped versions of other music previously used for city zones, but most of them were unused overall.
These tracks were used in the various cutscenes which played in missions, task forces, and trials later in the game. They were generally first started to be used in Issue 18, and continued up to the last Issue 24 beta.
- Death Incarnate (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- Keyes Island
- Minds of Mayhem
- Underground Avatar Intro
- Underground Final
Signature Story Arcs
- Sig Story Arc 01
- Sig Story Arc 03
- Sig Story Arc 04
- Sig Story Arc 05 (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- Sig Story Arc 06 (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Clamor Reveal
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Pandora Warning - Hero
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Pandora Warning - Villain
- Sig Arc 2 Episode 1: Phalanx Meeting
- Anti-Matter Rift Enclosure
- Atlas Park
- Calvin Scott
- Calvin Scott Death
- Clone Death (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- Clone Lab Escape
- Dark Watcher
- Emperor Cole
- Fixodine Stash
- Hero Walk
- No Man's Lady
- Protean (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- Rage Quit (Music only) (SFX only) (Combined)
- The Strong Survive
- Villain Walk
Easter Eggs and Obscure Music
This final list includes music cues which a player would typically have to go to a specific spot to be able to hear.
- Bianco's Italian Cuisine -- Stand outside the restaurant door at (881, 31, -1830) in New Overbrook to hear this music.
- Cryptic Lounge -- Stand near the jukebox in the Cryptic Lounge to hear this music.
- El Super Mexicano -- Stand outside the restaurant door at (1088, 31, -1537) in New Overbrook to hear this music.
- Lord Recluse Voice-over -- This was the speech that looped in the main entrance to Grandville.
- Dev Prison -- This music could be heard coming from the restrooms in the Dev Prison room hidden in the tunnels of Grandville. It is an altered version of the old standard Moon River, with some PG-rated sound effects added.
- Purgatory -- This music could also be heard in the Dev Prison.
- C.D.E.C. Lobby -- This music could be heard while inside the C.D.E.C. building.
- TPN Newscaster -- This "spoken" loop could sometimes be heard outside the TPN building.
- Studio 55 -- This music could be heard while inside Studio 55.
- Seed of Hamidon -- This was the "breathing" noise made by The Seed of Hamidon as it flew around First Ward.
- Title Screen Music
- City of Heroes (ver. 1) -- Used from launch through Issue 16.
- City of Heroes (ver. 2) -- Used from Issue 17 through Issue 20.
- City of Villains -- Used from Issue 6 through Issue 20.
- Going Rogue (Praetorians) -- Used from Issue 18 through Issue 20.
- City of Heroes Freedom -- Unified music used from Issue 21 through sunset. (Also used during character creation.)
- Character Creation Screen Music
- Hero Characters (ver. 1) -- Used from launch through Issue 16.
- Hero Characters (ver. 2) -- Used from Issue 17 through Issue 20.
- Villain Characters (ver. 1) -- Used from Issue 6 through Issue 16. (Music file is 12MB and too large to upload - a link is provided in the Discussion Page.)
- Villain Characters (ver. 2) -- Used from Issue 17 through Issue 20.
- Praetorian Characters -- Used from Issue 18 through Issue 20.
- Mission Completion Music
- Battle Loop -- This music was never used in-game, but was frequently used as background music for early promotional videos.
- Holiday Rocket Pack -- This music looped while you used the "Jingle Jet" temp power during a Winter Event.
- Carnival of Shadows -- This music looped in the area of the Carnival of Shadows tent setup on mission and zone maps.
- Zombie Stinger -- This music was heard when a Zombie invasion began in a zone.
- Deadly Apocalypse -- This music was heard when a Deadly Apocalypse began in a zone.
- Deadly Apocalypse Cleanup -- This was heard when a Deadly Apocalypse ended.
- Sonic Barrier -- This was heard when approaching the sonic barrier surrounding the Praetorian zones.